"The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt" experienced through the eyes of Corrine haeberlin

At first, I walked into the theatre thinking how small it was in comparison to the one I would always go to back home. Then they began to usher us into our seats, I was put in the second row, but this was not ordinary seating. I was actually in the stage! The characters walked in front of, next to and behind me throughout the performance. It was a rather magical experience, I felt like I was actually a part of the scene. The only downside was having to turn around when the characters walked out of my field of vision, but it added to the performance. It helped to keep me fully engaged in what was happening.

"School of Theatre and Dance." University of florida - school of theatre and dance. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Feb. 2017. <http://nyff.net/mint/sotd/html/1whoweare/mcguire/constans.htm>.

Originally I was to attend the performance with a friend of mine. However, she had to change her ticket last minute and I was stuck going alone. At first, I was disappointed that I had to go by myself, but while I was sitting watching the play I found it to be a blessing in disguise. I heard many people conversing about the play during the intermission, and I think that it took away each person's individual experience. By being alone I was able to draw from the play my own feelings and conclusions without the intrusion of another's thoughts.

Now, before I attended I knew some information about the performance. We were given some background information in class, and I did see the play after most of my friends. I went in with a good deal of knowledge of Sarah Bernhardt, but also of how the play brought up the issues of the Catholic Church during this time. However, I did not realize just how deep the performance went into these issues. I came to the theatre with the mindset of watching and enjoying, but I left having cried at least twice in the performance. The one thing that stuck out to me the most was that everyone in the play was trying to find their place. Whether it be Talbot trying to become a priest to forget his past and do better for his family or Madeleine who was dabbling in a dangerous life to find some happiness that has seemed to escape her. All of these characters, just like the students at this university, were muddling through trying different methods to find their "good life".

University of Florida. THE DIVINE: A PLAY FOR SARAH BERNHARDT. Gainesville: U of Florida, 2017. Print. The pamphlet given out at the beginning of the performance

"The Divine: A Play for Sarah Bernhardt" pushes us to look at the issues in our society. Watching Sarah's almost comical whimsical attitude toward the working conditions as seen by her need to see the boot makers, seeing that Leo died to keep the injustices a secret, is the author's plea to no longer turn a blind eye. It is a warning for the viewer's to take action in their world, or let innocents die by their neglect. It also connects to the struggle we all face to find the good life, but it does so to prove that our struggles can not take our full attention unless we become numb like Talbot. The performance is a push for us to better our society, which can in turn benefit us by bettering ourselves.

University of Florida. THE DIVINE: A PLAY FOR SARAH BERNHARDT. Gainesville: U of Florida, 2017. Print. The pamphlet given out at the beginning of the performance

During the talk back one of the performers mentioned how appreciative he was of everyone who had stayed. The actors put a lot of work into the production and it turned out beautifully. It saddened me to hear that they noticed when people left early and I can not imagine the toll that could take on them. I wanted to add this to the end because it is important for us to remember the people behind the actors and to thank them for putting so much time and effort to afford us this amazing experience.

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